You could argue that Mercedes created the four-door coupe when it came out with the first generation CLS way back in 2004. Now with increased competition Mercedes have decided to build a new one!
Just like the previous CLS itís a sleek and imposing four-door coupe with a low and curvaceous roofline. Thereís simply no missing the angular headlights, chunky bumpers and substantial front grille either. Therefore this car is definitely not short of road presence. Itís certainly not lacking presence on the inside either. You have to say that Mercedes are on a real roll when it comes to interior design at the moment. When you sit in the CLS it just feels as special as youíd expect from a car thatís from this corner of the market. Thereís a really interesting mix of materials, itís very tactile and just beautifully put together. We love the sweep of the dashboard combined with the two massive colour screens that link together to form one huge infotainment system. Even the steering wheel feels fantastic which just makes you want to start the car up and drive. When it comes to practicality itís got all of that going for it as well. Thereís plenty of storage dotted around the cabin. You get a good sized glovebox, great sized door-bins and a couple of good sized cup holders. One thing we would criticise in here though is the sun-visor. Believe it or not itís actually manually operated which is kind of a throwback from a car in the 80s. Itís just not quite what youíd expect from the CLS.
One of the most common problems with the majority of beautiful sleek coupes is that they are rarely as practical as the saloon cars on which they are based. However, if you look at the boot on the CLS youíll be pleasantly surprised that itís only marginally smaller than the Mercedes Benz E Class. However, the figures on paper donít tell the whole story. Youíll find that the actual shape of the boot quite awkward as itís quite long and narrow. The opening itself is quite narrow and offers quite a big load lip which you might struggle to haul things over. All of this is worth bearing in mind if youíre going to have to use the boot regularly.
Continuing on with the subject of problems with a low curvaceous roofline, the rear cabin space is a good example. Here you really do pay the price for beauty as, although the legroom in the CLS is just as good as the E Class, with the headroom itís a different story altogether. Even if youíre around five feet and four inches tall then you wonít find an awful lot of room above your head. So, anyone taller is going to feel a little cramped at the back. With regards to the middle seat, which is important to many drivers, unfortunately you have a huge transmission tunnel running underneath which renders it quite useless to anyone apart from children. When it comes to children thereís a couple of IsoFix points on each of the outer seats. However, another downside at the back is that the doors just donít open wide enough so it makes getting in and out of this car with children a bit difficult.
Thereís no need to pick between trim levels on the CLS as the AMG line is the only choice. It comes with 19 inch alloys, LED headlights and a styling package on the outside. It also gets you power adjustable heated seats, 64 colour ambient lighting, 3D satellite navigation and a reversing camera. You can add some option packages which include features like an upgraded stereo, air suspension and enhanced driver assistance systems for greater safety. In time thereíll be an AMG model with sportier styling and equipment to match.
At time of writing thereís a choice of three engines available on the CLS. Thereís 350d and 440d diesels along with a 450 petrol. All units come with Mercedesís nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive as standard. In time the range will grow and joining it will by the Mercedes AMG CLS 53 mild hybrid.
The car weíre reviewing for this article is the more powerful of the two diesels Ė the CLS 400d. Itís really powerful with 335 break horse power (bhp) on tap and a 0-62 miles per hour (mph) time of just under 5 seconds. However, as with any diesel this engine is all about in-gear power and delivering a nice burst of acceleration which is exactly what you need to overtake or to get up to speed on the motorway. This car is pretty economical too as Mercedes say it will return nearly 48 miles to the gallon (mpg) in typical driving and Co2 emissions are just 156 g/km. This means that company car tax should be more than manageable. The 450 petrol model incorporates Mercedesís EQ Power hybrid technology to boost its efficiency but can still only manage just over 36 mpg. While the less powerful CLS 350d has exactly the same Co2 emissions as the 400 itís only slightly more fuel efficient. So the difference between the two diesels is really more about purchase price than performance. The 350d has 282 bhp and gets from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds.
Although the performance figures are quite impressive donít go thinking that the CLS is something of an out and out sports car. In fact itís still quite a big and heavy, if comfortable, saloon. This car is definitely more at home on a motorway than on a back road. However, having said this itís still a very involving drive and feels a lot more sporty behind the wheel than the new Audi A7.
One thing we should point out is the seats. Yes, they are comfortable, feel really sporty and for your back they are an absolute dream. However, we really think that theyíre more suited to drivers of a certain height and definitely a certain build. For example, if youíre too big then youíre not going to get too comfortable while if youíre on the smaller side then theyíre just going to hug you in all the wrong places.
Overall the Mercedes Benz CLS fills its brief well. Ok, itís more expensive than the more practical E Class and the more nimble C Class but if youíre happy to be investing your extra cash into the eye-catching looks then thereís an awful lot to like about it. If youíre interested in Mercedes Benz CLS cars for sale then donít forget to take a look at whatís being advertised on DesperateSeller.co.uk.